>> 4.24.2011

It's three p.m. on Easter Sunday, and I've spent the morning doing my best to reflect on the incredible meaning behind this holiday, as well as trying to feel the adequate amount of joy I should be feeling.
This day is arguably the most important to Christians around the world, and it should probably be the one in which we feel the most hope, and the incredible promise that comes out of it.

"In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!"
Luke 24:5-6a

In an effort to maintain my honesty, I will admit that I have been having a hard time rejoicing today. This is frustrating and guilt-inducing, especially since I can't quite pinpoint why. I should be able to put aside my physical and mental struggles for one day, in order to celebrate the most momentous day in history, right? 
I read through all four gospel accounts of the resurrection, truly trying to see the magnificence of it all. 
I put on the Christian music that I usually avoid, hoping that some sort of holiness would penetrate my brain.
I asked God to please give me something, because I don't want to mope around today.
But, nothing.

Until this.
(It's the cheesiest video ever, but the only one I could find on short notice. Please just listen to the song while you look at something else.)

This is my heart cry.
I need to be brought to life today. That's all I want. 
I need to be resurrected with Christ, instead of staying in the tomb waiting for someone to come and get me--because He already has. 
So once again, I will continue to wait and seek and cling on to that last thread of hope that I've got.
Because that's the promise for today. 

“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Galatians 2:19-20

I may feel dead, but Christ is alive, and that is all that matters.



>> 4.07.2011

I guess it's time.
I'm sitting here, in my living room on a thursday afternoon while the sky is blue and there is sun shining in through my windows, and I'm trying to realize that spring is coming and this is symbolic in more ways than one.

Since I've always been honest on here, I guess there is no reason why that should stop being the case now.

We've been living in this country for just over five months now. 
We arrived with eight suitcases on a freezing and rainy November 1, and since then, life has consisted of working through each new day that has been thrown at us.
When we first arrived, we were empty of things, but full of hope. We had literally stripped ourselves of our possessions and brought with us what we could carry, along with the baby growing in my belly and the belief that this was going to be the place for us.
We were finally going to put roots down, settle in, and make a life for ourselves. We had the promise of a job with a good-looking outcome for Hubs, the knowledge that I could work anywhere I found myself, and the belief that soon we would be able to start "moving up" in the world.
No more cockroach infested apartments, or budgeting until we were blue in the face.

Reality check.

The job was not what it first appeared to be, and although we held onto it's promise for so long, it has recently become clear that there is no way it is going to work.
I lost all but one of my clients, not due to anything I had done, but simply because business models are changing and I didn't fit in anymore. Not only that, but I am now in my third trimester, and finding clients only to tell them that I will be taking six months of maternity leave after the baby is born, is not really ideal.
This country is expensive, with hidden fees and other things lurking around different corners, and somehow we did not find out about it all until we got here.
This is a different place, one that I don't really fit into all that well. I'm so much more 'American' than I thought I was, and although I have found friends, I am struggling to be myself and have that be okay. I find myself holding back, and taming myself down in order to fit into the landscape, and although this is okay, it means that no one really knows who I am and likes me for it.

I have been angry at God for a long time. 

I felt like He had clearly led us to this place, obviously opened doors and allowed us to walk through them.
My spousal visa came through in three weeks, which is nearly unheard of. 
We had the promise of this job, and security, and the opportunity to make a life somewhere we thought we wanted to be.
We got pregnant with our baby at exactly the right time so that all of the tiny little dreams I had worked out.

This was supposed to be it for us.

I felt like God gave us the promise of these dreams, and for all intents and purposes, it looked like they were going to be fulfilled.
Now, five months later, this is not the case.
And to be honest, I've hesitated to share with anyone about it, simply because I didn't want to put up with the pitiful looks, and the nice "Christiany" sentiments comparing us to Job or listening to "Footprints in the Sand" being quoted at me.
I'm not trying to be sarcastic or offensive, these things are comforting in the right time and place, it's simply that this situation can't be fixed with a nice, neat answer.

In fact, all I've got right now is this:
"So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." [Matt. 6:31-34]

I've read this passage at least fifty times.
But look at it. Really look at it.
What's the promise?

God knows what I need. 
If I seek after Him, He will provide for my needs. 
And that's all we're given. No promise for tomorrow.
In fact, I'm told to not even look at tomorrow, because I've got to focus on getting through today.

The past five months have been about God whittling away this entitled part of me, and putting it to death. It means that He is taking all of my desires, be they selfish or not, and simply giving me one day at a time to live through. He is meeting my most basic needs, and He is forcing me to accept the fact that this is all I am allowed to expect from Him.

I hate this.
I don't understand the ultimate reason or purpose that God allowed us to come here and find ourselves in this situation.
I can't pretend to be happy and joyful, when inside there is still (it's much smaller, but it's there) a part of me that screams, "Why can't I have this? What is so wrong with wanting this or needing this that You won't just let me have it?"

However, there is a light at the end of it all, and even though it's small, it's there.
My husband and I have never been so happy or strong in our marriage. Life is becoming pure, in that we have so little, that we are truly learning to indulge in such small moments.
My son, my son, is growing and is healthy inside of me, and I get to meet him in such a short amount of time and finally hold the baby that I ached over for so long.
I so appreciate the incredible people that God has allowed me to find. The close friendships that I have are truly unique, because I have yet to find one like them in another country, and I now realize just how amazing the people are who love me despite knowing me completely.
We are still surviving, and still making it through each day, incredibly.
Although some days I wake up, and it feels like there is no way that we're going to make it, we always do. And one day at a time, we're continuing to get through this.
I don't know how we are, but we are.

And so that's it.
I've avoided coming here for so long, because I wasn't ready to hash this out on a public forum, and I just wasn't ready to be completely honest about my life.
Maybe I'm still not.
However, the window is open now, and maybe sometime in the future I'll be able to open the door and let all twelve of you in.
But for now, this is what I've got. 

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